Nanobiohybrids: Materials approaches for bioaugmentation

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Science Advances  18 Mar 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 12, eaaz0330
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaz0330


Nanobiohybrids, synthesized by integrating functional nanomaterials with living systems, have emerged as an exciting branch of research at the interface of materials engineering and biological science. Nanobiohybrids use synthetic nanomaterials to impart organisms with emergent properties outside their scope of evolution. Consequently, they endow new or augmented properties that are either innate or exogenous, such as enhanced tolerance against stress, programmed metabolism and proliferation, artificial photosynthesis, or conductivity. Advances in new materials design and processing technologies made it possible to tailor the physicochemical properties of the nanomaterials coupled with the biological systems. To date, many different types of nanomaterials have been integrated with various biological systems from simple biomolecules to complex multicellular organisms. Here, we provide a critical overview of recent developments of nanobiohybrids that enable new or augmented biological functions that show promise in high-tech applications across many disciplines, including energy harvesting, biocatalysis, biosensing, medicine, and robotics.

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